Some of the most popular noise-canceling headphones on the market for the past year or so have been the Bose QuietComfort 35. Today, the company is refreshing that product with a new button and integration with Google Assistant.

Google has been working on a project to bring Assistant to headphones for quite some time, and we’ve learned a lot about it at 9to5Google in the past few months. Today, though, Google has officially unveiled this new integration, and it starts with the Bose QC35 II.

Assistant’s integration with headphones is built into the headphones themselves, but relies on a connection to your smartphone — either Android or iOS through the Assistant app.

The idea behind Assistant on headphones is to fill in those “in between” moments where you might not want to pull out their phone, but also aren’t in an area where an Assistant-smart speaker is available.

The first pair of headphones coming with Assistant is, unsurprisingly, the Bose QC35 II. This refresh to some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market goes on sale starting today for $349.

Once connected over Bluetooth and set up through Assistant, the Bose QC35 II can use Assistant in a few different ways, first and foremost through the new Action button.

The Action button activates Assistant with a quick press and hold, similar to activating Bixby on a new Samsung phone. From there you’ll have the full Google Assistant at your service. That includes, of course, listening to music and podcasts, but it also includes news from curated audio sources. Users can select from a variety of sources including CNBC, CNN, NPR, and more.

  • Stay connected to what matters: Hear your incoming messages, calendar events and more, automatically, right from your headphones. So if you’re listening to your favorite song and you get a text, your Assistant can read it to you, no extra steps.
  • Listen to music, news and more: Now it’s easier to access a playlist, skip a track or go to a new song when you’re listening to music—and the music experience will continue to get better over time. You can also keep up with news while you take walk, jump in a cab or go for a run. Just ask your Assistant to “play the news” and you’ll get a read-out of the current hot topics. You can choose from a variety of news sources, like CNBC, CNN, NPR and others.
  • Keep in touch with friends: You can make a call with just a few simple words—“Call dad”—take the call from your headphones and continue on your way. No stopping or dialing, just talking.

Along with that, Assistant on headphones will read out text messages when they arrive, as well as calendar events and more. Further, users can make phone calls or send messages with the Assistant as they would on their phone.

Bose says that its proprietary microphones on the QC35 II help it pick up commands even in crowded areas, and thanks to the company’s impressive noise cancellation, you’ll only hear your music and Assistant, and not much else.

A proprietary Bose microphone system picks-up voices with remarkable accuracy, so commands are understood. And in a fraction of a millisecond, Bose active noise cancellation dramatically reduces unwanted sounds around you – so whether you’re in a crowded airport terminal, on a busy city sidewalk, or a subway platform at rush hour – you only hear your Assistant or your music, brilliantly reproduced.

The Action button on the QC35 II also works when Assistant isn’t being used. A simple toggle in the Bose Companion app swaps the Assistant integration with the ability to use the button for switching the noise cancellation levels.

As mentioned, the Bose QC35 II goes on sale starting today from Bose.com and various retailers. Unfortunately, they still ship with microUSB for charging instead of USB-C, but thanks to the 20-hour battery life you probably won’t be charging often. The headphones are available in black and silver for $349.

THE QC35 II NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES The QC35 II noise cancelling headphones have all the performance and features of the original QC35. They deliver the same industry-defining noise cancellation, audio performance, and up to 20 hours of battery life. The same controls remain on the right earcup – audio volume, and the multi-function button for incoming calls and accessing Siri. And now, there’s a new Action button on the left earcup to connect to your Google Assistant – without having to grab your phone, unlock it, and find the app.

YOUR OWN PERSONAL GOOGLE

Bose and Google worked together on the exclusive experience in the QC35 II, making it the first integration of Google Assistant in a headphone. Press and hold the Action button, and your own personal Google is ready to help – no waiting, looking, swiping, or typing. Just start talking, and your Assistant will help you manage your music and get things done – like play a playlist or a favorite song by a favorite artist, and add appointments to your Google calendar. It can help you stay connected – from simple things like making a call, to notifying you about incoming messages, events and reminders, and reading them back to you. And it can answer questions and find information – so you can check a score, the latest headlines, whether your flight’s on time, what movie’s playing downtown – and more.

A proprietary Bose microphone system picks-up voices with remarkable accuracy, so commands are understood. And in a fraction of a millisecond, Bose active noise cancellation dramatically reduces unwanted sounds around you – so whether you’re in a crowded airport terminal, on a busy city sidewalk, or a subway platform at rush hour – you only hear your Assistant or your music, brilliantly reproduced.

NEW SETTINGS FOR BOSE NOISE CANCELLATION

Like its predecessor, the QC35 II’s noise cancellation is fully activated when the headphone is on, but the Bose Connect App now lets you choose to keep it on (high), turn it down (low), or disable it completely (off). The Connect App also lets you change the Action button’s functionality, so you can control the noise settings from the earcup when you want, and switch back to your Google Assistant when you want.

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